Craig’s Pie Crust(and he follows the recipe!)
- Keep fats cold and firm: coat the flour, don’t let flour absorb warm fat.
- Add only cold liquid to flour and fat mix.
- Use a pastry blender with rigid blades rather than flexible wires.
- Start with (firmer) butter, then add (softer) shortening. ( Avoid overworking the softer fat and creating a mealier shortbread type dough).
- Add liquid slowly and only enough to make mixture adhere. Avoid crumbly dough or a sticky dough.
- Rest and chill the dough before rolling.
- Keep work surface lightly floured at all times so the dough will slide along.
- Put dough in pie plate and chill it before baking. This solidifies the fat and allows the gluten to rest.
- For a flaky, crisp texture, blend the fat less intimately into the flour before adding the liquid, so the fragments of fat are like peas.
Flo Braker’s Classic Pie Crust, from the Sacramento Bee
Makes one 9 in. pie crust
1 cup unsifted all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
2 ½ Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled
1/3 cup chilled Crisco
3-4 Tbsp ice water(Stef’s Mom adds ice to water to chill it)
Combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Divide cold butter into 6-8 pieces and scatter them over the flour. With pastry blender, cut in butter until largest pieces remaining are the size of peas. Divide shortening into 6-8 pieces and scatter them over the butter-flour mix; cut in with a pastry blender until fragments of shortening range from the size of bread crumbs to lima beans.
Pour ice water into a liquid cup measure. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp evenly over flour mix, using a fork to toss and distribute moisture. Add more ice water until mix is moist enough to stick together.
With your hands, gather the moistened particles together, using the side of the bowl to shape it. Transfer it onto a sheet of plastic wrap, press into a round, flat disc, wrap. Massage its surface into a cohesive round, flat disk about 4 ½ inches across. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Or wrap in foil and freeze for up to one month.)
Roll on a lightly floured surface, lifting and rotating dough a one eighth turn clockwise to keep the dough circular. Roll from the middle away from you but never roll off the edges. This makes thin edges which easily stick to surface and tear the dough. Roll until 1/8 inch thick, about 12-13” in diameter. Drape over the rolling pin, then ease into baking pan. Carefully fit against the pan to remove any air bubbles. Trim the dough with scissors to give a uniform overhang, about ¾”. Fold the overhang under to form two layers of pastry(like making a hem on clothes). Flute the edges.
Refrigerate until time for filling and baking.